Saturday, June 23, 2012

Teaching Concepts to Students

This is an exerpt from my son's report card:

Abir was very active in this unit and he produced some work to be proud of; notably his brochure based on the Turtle Bay field trip .He did most of his assessments and class projects in good time and enjoyed making a TV commercial. He exhibited an understanding of different media and techniques used to manipulate people. However during his reflection he had difficulty recalling some of the concepts learnt. He is thus encouraged to be a more reflective learner in order to profit fully in the long term from all concepts he is exposed to.

And again...

Abir fared fairly well in this unit and worked quite well with his peers during most of the projects. He carried out experiments, used all the steps of investigation learnt and he exhibited commendable confidence during his summative presentation where he shared his knowledge on reversible and irreversible changes. He is encouraged to improve his self management skills as he needed frequent reminders to be on task as well as bring in materials for class activities. More empathy too will go a long way in ensuring he works more peaceably in future group presentations in his next grade level. Moreover; he will need to reflect more on learnt concepts in order to keep them for the long term as he soon forgets learnt concepts.

So it is clear my son has a hard time retaining concepts. These questions come to my mind after reading his report card:

Should the act of reflecting be done right at the end of a unit of inquiry, only to discover that a student has not really grasped a concept?

What strategies can I put in place in order to ensure that the concepts are taught in such a manner that students have a thorough understanding of it?

Should this comment be made during the formative stages in order to ensure that by the end of the unit the child has got it?

Isn't it out job as educators to ensure that the standards are met?

As a teacher and a parent, I stand on the fence. It is hard to criticize without looking at my own teaching practice.
My goal for next year would be thus: to write a report comment where I feel I truly did everything in my power, including collaborate with peers, reach out to my PLN, apply research-based strategies that promote concept attainment, in order to ensure my students have understood the concepts.

To all the teachers who are reading this post, I am currently enjoying reading this book. It has a mine of information about different strategies. I keep it in a prominent place on my study table. 

 "The Strategic Teacher. Selecting the Right research-Based Strategy for Every Lesson". Author Silver, Strong, Perini.

1 comment:



Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment!